Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo said in Abuja on Thursday that the Federal Government was promoting the adoption of Alternative Dispute Resolution and creating the necessary infrastructure to enhance speedy resolution of business-related disputes
Fielded questions at a virtual interaction session with members of the French Business Confederation, Osinbajo said government’s effort was part of measures to attract foreign investors.
“Alternative Dispute Resolution is something that we are promoting as a government and we are trying to create infrastructure for it.
“ And I know that most businesses do not even want to go to court; they will rather resolve their disputes through commercial arbitration. And that is an area we are looking to explore in greater detail.”
“Nigeria has a robust judiciary and most companies engage some of the best lawyers in Nigeria, many of whom are internationally acclaimed.
“Our courts, the commercial courts are doing well. Sometimes there may be delays in the length of time that it may take to resolve disputes which is why arbitration is the preferred mode of resolving disputes.
“And I am sure that most companies have an arbitration clause in their agreements and contracts,’’ he said.
According to him, the resolution of commercial disputes is one in which the Nigerian government has done quite well.
“And I am very confident that the Federal High Courts, especially in the commercial nerve centres in the country – Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano are doing a decent job,’’ he stressed.
Osinbajo said efforts made by the Nigerian government across diverse areas of creating environment conducive to business were yielding results.
He said the generality of the ease of doing business reforms comprising improvement in port operations, checking of smuggling, and the adoption of a common trading platform had improved Nigeria’s competitiveness.
The vice-president said though basic education fell under the jurisdiction of the states, the Federal Government had introduced and was enforcing a policy on free and compulsory education in the first nine years of the Nigerian child’s life.
He said the Federal Government’s emphasis was also to modernise education by prioritising Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.
Responding to another question, Osinbajo said several thousands of young men and women had been equipped with digital skills, especially in coding, and cited the example of the privately built power plant in Edo state.
According to him, the Federal Government welcomes new investments in the power sector, especially ones that will connect directly with the end consumers on willing-buyer, willing- seller basis.
“We really want as many private companies as possible to come on stream. We prefer that new companies do not come on the grid and expect government guarantees. We will be happy to have new investments in generation and distribution,’’ he said.
Participants at the forum included, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Niyi Adebayo, CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele and the Nigerian Ambassador to France, Mrs Modupe Irele.
The representatives of Schneider Electric, Mr Christophe Begat, Swipha Pharmaceuticals, Frederick Lieutaud, Dassault System, Raoul Jacquard, Kamil Senhaji, and Federic Morel-Barbier, among others, also featured at the virtual interaction.